DELHI – In recognition of his decades long work to end child labour and tireless advocacy for the universal right to education, Rotary International conferred the Rotary Award of Honour to Nobel Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi.
The award was presented at the Rotary International Convention, where Satyarthi was a keynote speaker. The event brings together Rotary members from around the world who are committed to taking action on the world’s most pressing humanitarian issues.
“I thank the 1.4 million members of Rotary International for recognising the need for a free and safe childhood for all children. It is only with the support and commitment of all aspects of society that we will finally end child labour and ensure every child has the opportunity to live to their fullest potential. This award acknowledges the challenge that hundreds of millions of marginalised children continue to face and the responsibility we all have to change their paths toward a brighter future,” Satyarthi said.
John Hewko, General Secretary and CEO of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation said, “Kailash Satyarthi is an inspiration. As a human rights activist whose goal is to end child slavery, he’s committed to creating a better future for 100 million marginalized children. At Rotary Convention 2022, hope is alive, compassion is alive, the power of community is alive. We recognize and compliment the efforts of individuals and organizations who are working to make children’s lives better.”
Speaking at the event, Rotary International President 2021-22 Shekhar Mehta said, “There is no place for child labour in society. While in the last 20 years almost 100 million children have been removed from child labour, there are still 160 million children subjected to child labour across the world. 160 million child labourers mean 160 million empty seats in the classroom. We must break this circle of illiteracy, poverty & child labour together. Kailash Satyarthi’s work in the area of child protection and education is a true testament of Service Above Self.”
The Rotary Award of Honour was established in 1990 to be given to heads of state and other dignitaries who have made a significant contribution to international understanding and goodwill. Past recipients include His Holiness Pope Francis, Pranab Mukherjee, then president of India, Queen Elizabeth II, Bill Gates, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization.